Most parents pray for God to prepare their hearts for a challenging transition a couple of years before their children leave the house. For example, your daughter may be getting married, and you want her wedding, celebrate her day, and be happy for her. You may want to transition into your empty nest season in a manner that glorifies God and blesses your family. God allowed you to enjoy her wedding and ensured it was beautiful.
Around the same time, your other daughter got a job that included housing, meaning she could live rent-free and work full-time while she and her fiance planned their wedding. As a parent, you want to support your children and be excited for them and their newfound independence. Helping your daughter set up her new home and watching her settle in was exciting, and you were genuinely happy for her. When the summer excitement settled down and things returned to normal, the reality of both your kids moving out and what that meant hit you like a ton of bricks.
You missed them, hearing them get up in the morning, telling them good night, and hearing about their day when they came home from work. You missed eating dinner with them and their friends, who typically filled your living room and sat at your kitchen table. You were so devoted to being their parent every day for more than 20 years, and in a flash, your life changed. Things would never be the same.
During those challenging days, you contacted other moms who’ve already transitioned into their empty nest season. They assured you that your feelings were normal and comforted you, but you knew that you needed to be able to do more than make it through every day. You need to face each day with joy and hope to see God’s purpose for you in this new season. So you started to pray, reflecting on how God was faithful in your life as you raised your children. You would thank Him for everything He’s done and how He provided for you. You prayed for your kids, thanked God for how He’d worked with them through the years, and then asked Him to let you move into this new season with joy despite your aching heart. God is always faithful, and the ache won’t go away immediately, but you’ll experience joy during the feelings that come when your kids leave the nest. Here are some ways to find joy in your empty nest season.
Bible verses to help you in your empty nest season.
Isaiah 43:19 reminds us that God will make a way in the backwoods and rivers in the desert because He’s doing something new. It may feel like it, but it’s not the end. Parents have spent every waking hour pouring themselves into their children, ensuring they’re cared for and loved for over 18 years. It quickly becomes your top priority and is more than your full-time job. When your children move out of the home, it can feel like your purpose has left with them, and you miss connecting with them every day.
You’ll go through a time of grieving because children are the most precious gift from God, but God has more for you to do for Him. Figuring it out might take some time, and you may have to adjust to your life, but that will come. In the meantime, be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grieve. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reminds us that there’s a season for everything. God created a season for everything we’ll experience in life; growing and raising a family is one of those things. We know this, but it can be challenging when the seasons change, especially the empty nest season.
Change is challenging. It brings the fading of familiar things and leaves you to create a new normal. Sometimes, that’s an exciting and welcoming thing and other times, it’ll include a time of grieving. You’re allowed to grieve this change but try to focus on God in your grieving. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus will always remain the same. For most parents, bringing home a newborn can be one of the most challenging seasons they’ll experience. You’re happy about your children, but learning a new way of life is challenging.
You eventually found a new rhythm and grew accustomed to caring for a baby and getting little to no sleep. Sending your kids out into the world 20 years later is just as challenging, if not harder, than when you brought them home as newborns. Both seasons brought life-altering, tremendous changes. When another change rocks your world, remember you have a Savior who’s never changing and is always there for you. Jesus is the only constant in our lives. Learning to focus and cling to Jesus is the key to experiencing joy during life’s changes.
Finding joy during your empty nest season.
Your children leaving the home is something you planned all along, and it’s a good thing, but if you’re feeling sad, remember you have a God who heals and trust that He will heal your heart and guide you into your new way of living. God has been faithful in your life and your children’s lives since they were young. He’s guided you through every parenting season, and you’ve done your best. Now, it’s time to relinquish your grown children to Him and know He’ll continue to be faithful in your life and your children’s lives.
We know that God will never change or leave us, carrying and guiding us, even when life constantly changes. He’s provided for your family over the years you lived under one roof, so trust that He will continue providing all you need spiritually, physically, and emotionally. You can press closer to God, who will comfort and remind you of His faithfulness, even during this challenging transition. Ask God to show you the new things He has for you in this new season. Your children may be released into the world, but you’re released to do different and new things.
You can learn how to be the best parent to your adult children and seek God to ask Him to teach you how to glorify Him and bless your adult children in this empty nest season. It’s a learning curve, but God will guide you if you ask for His help.